Former director told to find his lawyer

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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The housing subdivision on Kahuranaki Rd, on a stretch of the Tukituki River known as Horseshoe Bend, near Havelock North, which is under dispute.
The housing subdivision on Kahuranaki Rd, on a stretch of the Tukituki River known as Horseshoe Bend, near Havelock North, which is under dispute.

Bankrupt former GLW Group director Garth Paterson was told to "get your skates on" and find his lawyer by Associate Judge Smith in the High Court in Napier yesterday, after Mr Paterson attempted to address the court on four companies' applications to liquidate GLW.

At noon his lawyer, Matthew Lawson, apologised to the court, saying he had assumed the matter would be adjourned until an application to set aside a statutory demand made by a creditor of GLW was heard next month.

GLW's attempt to subdivide 24.3ha on the Tukituki River's Horseshoe Bend near Havelock North has sparked about a dozen legal actions, many pending the outcome of others, after GLW fell into financial difficulties.

With GLW in default of its mortgage, Charlie's Juice Company co-founder Stefan Lepionka was worried he would lose a $463,000 deposit paid for four subdivision lots.

His solution was to buy the mortgage off Westpac Bank last year and become Mortgagee in Possession of the property.

Mr Lepionka's lawyer Callum Reid told the court the debt owed to Mr Lepionka's company was more than $4 million, making a tabled $3.4 million offer to refinance GLW insufficient.

Mr Lawson said there had also been talks with Andy Coltart and a Mr McHardy, a relative of Mr Coltart's, "also with a view to refinancing".

Mr Coltart worked with Mr Paterson on the early stages of the subdivision and has lived with his wife in the property's original homestead since 2010.

In August Mr Lepionka's company successfully argued for caveats Mr Coltart placed on the development's title to be removed, allowing a mortgagee sale to proceed. Mr Coltart appealed the matter to the Court of Appeal, to be heard next week.

Yesterday the judge said GLW owed an undisputed $60,000 to three parties other than Lepionka and if it was not paid when the matter next appeared before the court on March 21 then liquidation would likely proceed.

Over the Christmas holiday period Mr Paterson stayed on the second house on the property with his ex-wife and replacement GLW director Liz O'Neil.

Mr Lepionka arranged for a trespass notice to be served but police declined to act, saying it was a civil matter.

Mr Lepionka then requested electricity to the house be disconnected and, after a confrontation between a linesman and Ms O'Neil, she was charged with assault with intent to injure for allegedly biting the linesman, to which she entered a not-guilty plea.

Mr Paterson, bankrupted in Australia, received leave from the Official Trustee to travel to New Zealand.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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